Relationships between Scientific Literacy, Attitudes towards Science, Religiosity and Superstitious Beliefs in Romanian Context
Presentation at Science and the Public 2010 Conference, Imperial College, London and the Science Museum, 3rd and 4th July 2010, London, UK
The presentation “Relationships between Scientific Literacy, Attitudes towards Science, Religiosity and Superstitious Beliefs in Romanian Context” is based on the first major research conducted in Romania concerning the public understanding of science paradigm. The research took place in the summer of 2009 and is representative for the Romanian, adult population. The information gathered concerns scientific literacy, attitudes towards science, medical knowledge, superstitious beliefs and religiosity.
The coexistence of apparently opposed dimensions can be often seen in the Romanian public space. An example is the last presidential elections when the candidate that lost the elections explained his failure through pseudoscientific phenomenon.
In this context the authors of this presentation will try to see the relationship between scientific knowledge, attitudes concerning science, superstitious beliefs and religiosity in contemporary Romanian society. One of our hypothesis is that religiosity will not be positively associated with superstitious beliefs. We’d expect that people who explain the events around them through Divinity would not believe that number 13 will bring bad luck or that if your left hand itches you will receive money (examples of common superstitions). Another hypothesis regards religiosity and its relation with scientific knowledge. We suppose that people who are more religious would have lower score of scientific literacy and, perhaps, a negative attitude towards science.
Finally we will take into consideration the relationship between scientific knowledge and superstitious beliefs. We presume that those who have a high score in the scientific knowledge scale will be less superstitious.